´ Sing badly, give judgment a coffee break -
February 1, 2015

Judgmental thinking is bad but we all do it every day. We know it’s bad but do we know what exactly we sacrifice by holding on to judgmental thinking?

Some white dude visited some African tribe that I unfortunately do not recall the name of. They invited him to join their festivities and sing which he politely declined. ‘Why don’t you want to sing with us?’ on of the tribesmen asked. ‘Well I can’t sing.’ This really got the tribesmen scratching their heads. ‘You have a voice. If you have a voice you can sing.’ For Western folks it’s not a paradoxical thing to say. We have seen them all one shows like America’s Got Talent or The X-Factor. Some people can sing but most of us can’t. And those of us which can’t will get laughed at. We see that over and over again so we conclude that we will never sing outside the shower because we don’t want to be made fun of. However while the tribe was probably aware of the people who had outstanding beautiful voices singing is a normal part of life and definitely not a something to be judged or ridiculed for in their culture. So for them not being able to sing makes about as much sense as to say ‘I can benchpress 100 pounds but I can’t pick up that chocolate bar.’

Now I don’t know about you but I have never seen Simon Cowell or any other of those famous TV jurors on my way to work. Which is why I frequently sing on my way to work. Have I gotten queer looks? Sure. Should I say no to hundreds of short moments of fun and happiness because I have gotten maybe two weird looks in four years? Hell no.

Unless you are a monk you will probably not go through a single day without judgmental thinking (if you can, congratulations on your work and dedication). However if you suspend the need to judge others and the fear of other people’s judgments for just a couple of moments chances are you will sing more, take more pictures, write poems or design practical jokes that make the world smile. Will the rest of the world care about this? In most cases probably not (although don’t underestimate the power a happy you can have on others). However you will discover that even an extremely mediocre poem, compared to literary standards, can encapsulate a moment you treasured and make you happy every time you read. You don’t have to sing in tune to be happy while you are singing.

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